Our mission is to provide a safe, supportive, and fun summer camp experience for neurodivergent children. We believe that every child deserves to have a joyful and fulfilling summer, regardless of their differences.
Our camp is designed to promote inclusion, accessibility, and acceptance for all campers.
At our camp, we strive to create a welcoming environment where neurodivergent kids can feel comfortable being themselves. We understand that every child has unique needs and challenges, and we work hard to accommodate those needs. Our staff is trained to provide individualized support and encouragement to each camper, helping them to build confidence and make new friends.
INCLUSION • SUPPORT • ACCESSIBILITY • RESPECT
OUR FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Shawna Akerman has been dedicated to helping people shape better lives for themselves through her vast experience in conflict resolution and advocacy. As a mother of two deaf children she personally knows the challenges that can be encountered when parents face unique circumstances and the results of those efforts were recently featured on the CBC. Her career includes twenty years as a Special Needs Educator, creator and founder of Karma Country Camp (Non-Profit) and a successful Psychotherapy Practice embedded in the Karma Cares Community.
Shawna has a natural level of empathy and human connection that resonates with everyone she works with. Her focus is on supporting people with Autism and mental challenges to live better lives and achieve goals for positive change.
Our collective goal is to provide a unique summer experience for our campers through fun and skill based activities. We also hope to create a community of families with the focus on advocacy for education, funding and young adults through a work support program.
Julia Forward is a co-director of Karma Country Camp and brings with her over a decade of experience facilitating and supervising kids and staff in similar environments. With a Psychology, Autism and Behavioural Science background, Julia has accumulated immense knowledge in implementing programs in communicative, social, and life skills to youth of all ages. Her current role in the York Region School Board has allowed her to support neurodiverse students in reaching their potential of independence and confidence prior to their progression to high school. Julia acknowledges the challenges and emotions that youth and their caregivers can experience when navigating a transitional time in their lives, and works as part of an interdisciplinary team to advocate for her students and inform her families on the choices they have to support themselves or their loved ones during their academic experience and is now bringing that to our summer program.
Julia is a highly compassionate and empathic person who engages authentically with the human connections around her, and strives to create warm and welcoming environments for youth to learn and live in. She is extremely grateful and excited to join Shawna and the Karma Country Camp life!
Thank your for running an amazing camp program. LJ had a great time attending and enjoyed every minute of it. I am grateful that he had something to do during the day while I was a work.
I felt comfortable sending him to a safe place with people who I trusted to take care of him with kindness, patience and understanding of who he is. I'm sure many other participants and their families felt the same.
I have been having an amazing time, and throughout the summer I have learned a lot and have really developed my skills. I communicate well with the others at the camp, staff and campers. I have a good understanding of what individual campers enjoy and what they like to do and their boundaries.
I would love to come back next year and work with you again I have been having a great time this summer.
I have had a great time working here this summer! Throughout the summer I have gained so much experience working with the campers as well as my peers. I’ve learned about working with people with autism and creating a safe welcoming environment for the campers and staff by enforcing boundaries and communicating.
Next year returning to camp would be an amazing experience, I really wish to come back!